The Greatest Number


You can help your child develop an understanding of the place value of numbers.

What you need:

  • A die
  • Pen and paper

What to do:

This is a game for 2 or more players.  On paper draw a grid:

  Hundreds Tens Ones
Game 1      
Game 2      
Game 3      
Game 4      
Game 5      

The first player rolls the die. They enter the number in the hundreds, tens or ones place on the game 1 line. Once recorded the number cannot be changed.

The next player rolls the die and enters their number for game 1.

Players take turns until three rounds have been completed and a 3 digit number has been entered.

Each player reads out their number and they decide which is the largest.

The winner of the round is the person with the greatest (highest) number. They score 1 point.

Play continues as previously for the other four games.

The winner is the player with most points at the end of five rounds.

What to expect your child to do:

Understand that the value of a number changes depending of its place. E.g. when a 1 is put in the hundreds column it is really 100. In the tens column it is 10 and in the ones column it is one. Your child should realise that higher numbers should be placed in the hundreds column and lower numbers should be placed in the ones column when possible.


  • Add a fourth column - thousands, hundreds, tens and ones.
  • Try to make the smallest number.

He Kupu Māori:

place value uara tū
hundred rau
ten tekau
one tahi
three digit number tau mati-toru
dice mataono tau

Download a file of this activity:

PDF (248KB)